Re: Ion Tiriac should respect Serena Williams, says coach Patrick Mouratoglou
There's a point underneath all his shitty language. Clearly any plan to play Serena involves moving her and trying to expose her footwork; on an off day this will pay huge dividends, but if she is on there's really very little you can do unless you match her power and athleticism toe to toe e.g. prime Venus.
Of course trying to move her does not mean you just push and get the ball back; Serena is too astute on court for you to expose her that way, and before you know it she'll be ripping groundstrokes and you find yourself the only one being yanked around the court. You need a degree of aggressiveness and aim for the lines; not too close such that you make too many mistakes, but close enough that you're not playing too central a ball. I mean, that's the hardest thing about playing Serena, your effective hitting zones within the court are *small*. During her peak this effective zone is around 1/8 of the court width away from any line, that's really just a sliver. Now that she's older, I think the effective zone has expanded to around 3/16 to 1/4 of the court width. It's bigger (because she is older and her movement is definitely not young Serena levels), but can you exploit it?
Tiriac definitely could have made his point better, but I guess this is what he is trying to say. Can Halep do it? She'll need to be brave and go for her shots, and she'll need to redline enough. Tall order, Serena is still the favorite, but she has a semblance of a chance. But one thing's for sure: if Simona grinds and stands back it's all over.